November 2

Foods to Promote Gut Health and Increase Akkermansia

Akkermansia muciniphila was first identified in 2004 and is a species of bacteria that helps to maintain our gut lining and possesses many health benefits. You may not have heard of it, but that certainly doesn't mean it isn't important! I hope you find this article helpful while you're making your next shopping list. As I was writing this article, I was picturing a big salad with sliced jicama, walnuts, grapes and chickpeas with a delicious dressing of some type :)

I also thought of a snack "Bento box" with slices of kiwi, apple slices, raspberries, pistachio nuts, almonds, and a piece of dark chocolate. The entire thing would be one big polyphenol your gut would LOVE!

Akkermansia Health Benefits

  • Increases the thickness of the gut’s mucus lining, thereby improving its barrier function and reducing your risk of leaky gut. This is important because it keeps harmful bacteria out of the bloodstream.
  • This barrier is crucial for immune support.
  • An abundance of Akkermansia reduces your risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic (blood sugar) dysfunction.
  • A lack of Akkermansia is correlated to several disease states.

Ways to Increase Akkermansia

It is not available in a probiotic supplement yet, but it’s found in breast milk, and you can obtain and multiply it by eating certain foods.

Eat Foods high in Polyphenols

  • Polyphenols boosts your Akkermansia abundance.
  • Cranberries, Pomegranate, Red grapes, Bilberry, Blueberries, Blackberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Rhubarb, Cloves, Cocoa Powder, Very Dark Chocolate, Hazelnuts

Eat Foods high in Ellagic acid (an antioxidant)

  • Ellagic acid boosts your Akkermansia abundance.
  • Pomegranate, Cranberries, Apples, Strawberries, Raspberries, Grapes, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios

Eat Foods high in Fructooligosaccharides, a Prebiotic

  • Increases Akkermansia growth up to 1000-fold.
  • Raw green bananas, onions, chicory root, garlic, raw asparagus, jicama, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, dandelion root

Eat more Navy beans, Black beans, White Beans

  • Increases Akkermansia abundance and enhances mucus and epithelial barrier integrity.

Eat foods high in the Citrus Flavonoid Hesperidin

  • Protection of mucus layer, maintenance of intestinal permeability, desirable interaction with intestinal bacteria.
  • Citrus fruit: oranges, tangerines, lemon, lime, grapefruit (but not too much grapefruit as it can block liver detoxification)
  • Citrus peel contains a high amount of hesperidin. Consider adding orange zest or lemon zest to tea or making citrus peel tea.

Eat foods to promote Butyrate-producing bacteria

  • Almonds, apples, barley, chickpea, garlic, kiwi, oats

Lifestyle Interventions

Stress-Reduction

Both depression and stress can provoke heightened inflammation and gut leakiness.

A Caloric Break

A 12 hour “break” from eating may help decrease zonulin levels, which is a chemical associated with leaky gut.

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